Masterchef – Poh’s parting words
As is customary for departing contestants, Poh has given an exit interview to TV Week. There are no major revelations, but she does provide some further details on her plans and ambitions.
During the last “bottom three” judging, when it came to her food ambitions, Poh’s responses to the judges’ questions seemed unformed and a bit ad-libbed compared to Andre’s. She noted this in her to-camera in the episode so it is interesting to see that she has given her food future some thought and that it is consistent with what she said in that episode:
I want to write my cookbook, which is the thing I’ve spoken about the most in terms of what I want to get out of this competition. I do want to be a chef, but that would be a five-year plan because obviously you need a lot of revenue to start a restaurant and it’s not something you jump into without a lot of planning because there’s so much invested in it. The restaurant concept in my head at the moment is a noodle and dumpling bar where all the noodles are hand pulled and all the dumplings are handmade…
Hand-pulled noodles are the flavour of the month here at the moment and another noodle and dumpling bar – so, not so conceptual – would probaly sink without a trace. Of course, I don’t know what the situation is in Adelaide. It’s possible that there is a demand further west.
During that fateful bottom three interview, she mentioned that she wanted to write the cookbook first, as a way of getting her ideas about the restaurant sorted out. This seemed to be an inverted approach, but instead of clarifying this, she reiterates it in the interview:
I see the book as quite an important thing to do first because it will consolidate what I want to do in the restaurant in my head.
She includes a teaser about one of her projects, which made me think of the Chef Gusteau range in Ratatouille (okay, I’ve probably got to stop watching that film):
I can’t really talk about one of them “” it’s actually starting a food product, but I have to run it by the person I’m doing it with, so I won’t expose that.
Of the competition, she describes the disappointment of leaving at this stage of the competition, but she does appear to be reconciled to the decision:
But I was really disappointed that I didn’t get a chance to cook a lot of dishes that I was sort of hoping to pull out towards the end of the competition, like really traditional stuff. I was hoping we’d get a chance to sort of pick our own ingredients and not have a limit on the number of ingredients we were allowed to have. Because that’s what I’m here to do “” to represent my culture “” and I was just really disappointed that I didn’t get a chance to do that.
(I should stop hearking back to the second chance she got in the audition, but… I can’t! Particularly when she says she was there “to represent my culture” but her audition dish wasn’t doing that. It was only when the judges intervened and sent her home with instructions to cook something more culturally “close” that she succeeded. Sure, she cooked a couple of “Asian” dishes – once, when she had no choice, since the theme was Asian – but even as recently as last week, her invention test dishes included fried meringue. That’s nobody’s culture, there. Grrr – revisionist history.)
For those lovers of a bit of snarky contestant commentary, Poh’s interview dishes no dirt. She does mention how difficult it was living in such an “insular” environment, but adds that
the whole experience of living in the house and the social aspect of it was really amazing.
Earlier this week, the Herald-Sun reported that Poh accused others of “sabotage” during the wedding challenge. The more cynical amongst us read that as a marketing ploy by Ten, and this seems to have been confirmed in a story in the same paper today.
“I said it as a joke. Everyone was getting stressed,” she said.
“I stayed up the night before making the wedding cake with Chris and I put myself in a really stupid position making two dishes in a row.
“Chris was acting as head chef for the night and I guess it was a bit hard for me to swallow.
“He was bossing me around during the night.”
It must be noted that Chris seemed to be the only person to volunteer to be the team leader during the challenge. On top of that, the “bossing” must have ended up on the cutting-room floor, since all I saw was Chris trying to calm a panicky Poh down. For those of us who think Andre is well and truly beyond his sell-by date:
Five contestants are left, and Poh believes Andre from Adelaide is a strong chance.
“He is very focused on the Italian style of food he wants to make,” she said.